makeup, me, updates

Putting on a happy face

I had a berbuka puasa gathering with friends from university last weekend. It had been two years since we last had one but unfortunately only few could show up. But the few of us had fun catching up nevertheless.

Two of us who were at the gathering were on twitter and so naturally the topic gravitated towards tweeting. My friend commented on how great my skin looks now — she had read about me wanting to try this new face cream on my blog. That happened to be the last post way back in June!

It’s pretty embarrassing to know that whoever added me on Twitter more recently would be reading about my vain quest to get firmer, more even toned skin 😛

So after my friend mentioned about my blog, I made a mental note to update it. And here it is, at long last!

Well there’s good news and there’s great news. Before you get too excited — no, I’m not pregnant.

The good news is I actually bought the Olay cream I was pining for. Thursday was officially a month after I bought it. That brings me to the great news. It really did wonders to my skin.

My face has somehow lightened by a shade and dewy-looking. The texture is much smoother too. I don’t know if I look younger because my skin is firmer but I definitely like what I’m seeing in the mirror. I tend to look pale without makeup but I am much more confident and comfortable going without it these days.

I am seriously hooked on this stuff. It’s pricey by my standards — almost RM90 for a jar of 50g — but it’s worth the investment. I actually just bought another bottle although I have not run out of my first one. I thought I’d get it at the store now while I have the cash.

In case I didn’t mention this is my past entry, this cream has received rave reviews from women all over the world. The only complaint that I have heard of is that it has a light fragrance, which makes it unsuitable for women with sensitive skin.

I don’t have any problem with the smell and it didn’t make me break out, so I don’t have any issues with the product.

Although many women would like to prevent sagging skin and wrinkles before they even occur, I would recommend this product only to women who are in their late 20s (by this I mean 27 and above). This product was designed for mature skin so I don’t think younger women, especially those below 20, should even be messing with this product.

So if you’re around my age (32), have the budget and are looking for some new skin care products/makeup this Raya, you might want to check Olay Regenerist Micro-sculpting Cream out.

Try it, you might REALLY like it (like me) 🙂

Update (Sept 17, 2010): My brother — who takes really good care of his skin — just texted me asking about this cream. I assume he’s going to buy it?

As for me, I’m still sold. I like that it makes my skin so smooth that applying make-up is a breeze.

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makeup, updates

Updates

This is Week 2 of my journey towards taking control of my time, money and life in general. How has it been? So far so good I guess.

Well, at least my horoscope says so. And you know how you’re more inclined to believe your horoscope when it says that nice things are in store for you, don’t you? LOL.

Anyway, I now officially cannot function without my To Do note book. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I misplace it!

For example this morning, I got a bit derailed — chatting too much and surfing the Internet when I should be working. And then I remembered to check my To Do list, or as Get Organised Now calls it “the Ta Da list” (because when you get a chore done, it vanishes like magic, you say Ta Da! Get it?). Just like that, I was doing all the things that I needed to do and managed to tick off a lot of things on the list. f I hadn’t done peeked at my Ta-da List, I think I would’ve forgotten to do many things.

What I like about my Ta Da list is that it also keeps me focused. I keep my phone on Vibrate mode when I’m at work. I let calls go into my Voice Mail. I check my emails and return calls between 11am and 12pm and 4pm and 5pm. And at night, I basically do whatever I want and they are not work-related. If I have a deadline and need to finish some work, I just make sure that I sleep early to wake up early the next day to get the job done.

Now, daytime for me is for work and evenings are strictly for me, family and friends.

I have also been using my Google Calendar religiously. I like that I can sync between my Google Calendar and my BB one. Doing this also keeps me focused because I know exactly what I need to do when.

On another note, I’m really happy with the Acne.org 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment that I bought over the Internet. It arrived in the mail about two weeks ago. And it took about two weeks for me to see a real difference to my skin.

The areas which are acne-free look very clear. The areas where I do have zits are getting very small. I used to get zits all over but for some reason, they are now almost exclusively on my neck area, just under my jaw.

But the number is really small, just one or two compared to four or five at once before. New zits still appear around that area and I find this really strange because I know the treatment really works, otherwise.

Although it annoys me that new zits still pop up, I am not about to write off this product just yet. After all, I’m not even a quarter way through the 8 oz tube that I bought. I think it can last me easily two months but I suspect that I’ll only finish it closer to Month 4. I think it’s really value for money. I spent about RM80 on it (plus postage).

It was recommended that I increase the amount of the product that I apply after Week 6. I have about a month more to go to do that.

I would not advise anyone to start too much, too soon. Just follow Dan’s recommendations on the website and you’ll see results. It took me 2 weeks, it might take less time for some and maybe more for others. It all depends on the severity of your acne, I guess.

I used to think that benzoyl peroxide doesn’t work for my kind of acne but Acne.org’s treatment proves otherwise. My skin has responded very well to the product and I’m really pleased with the results — despite still getting a zit or two on my jawline.

As I said before, it’s really annoying because it feels like I’m taking two steps backwards after making such great progress.

But I have to say that my skin looks better than ever now. The most noticeable improvement would be my nose. I do not have blackheads there, I kid you not! That and the fact that my skin is less oily now. And my skin looks fairer now.

However, I still can’t go without makeup. I still look dead tired without a trace of makeup and my skin still looks blotchy from old acne scars and my chicken pox scars that are still healing. But the skin surface is much smoother, that is for sure.

So if you’re interested to try the product, visit Acne.org. You don’t have to get the entire set of products offered there — which can be expensive especially when you are ordering outside of the US. I use the Acne.org treatment with Neutrogena’s pure mild facial cleanser and Olay moisturiser. It has worked great for me so far.

So that’s what’s happening with my life lately. Till next time!

makeup

Vanity Times

I’m taking a 10-minute break from my writer’s block phase to review some of my favourite “beauty” products right now.

Allow me to give a shout out to L’oreal Paris Studio Curl Power Curl Controlling Creme (For Rebellious Curls). I bought this about a month ago because I thought my part curly/part frizzy/part wavy hair could use some soft control. I have been pairing this creme with Ellips hair serum. But I’ve learned another trick recently, albeit by accident. What happened was, I accidentally apply Curl Power Creme BEFORE the serum. I was pleasantly surprised with the result the next morning – soft, bouncy curls ala Katy Perry without a curling iron ever near my hair.

So, I decided to do a repeat performance of my breakthrough. This time, I used L’oreal Elseve Color-vive Intensive Care Serum as a substitute for Ellips hair serum. The result? Again, success. So yes, ladies, apply your curl controlling creme BEFORE your hair serum.

Does this mean I can kiss my curling iron goodbye? Heck no! I’m even thinking of getting a Philips straightening iron from Watson because it is just the right size. D3ll swears by the bigger variety but I’m not interested in making my hair straight. I just want my beachy waves to turn out right 😛

Ironic, huh, resorting to a straightening iron to curl my hair?

And I may have found THE shampoo for my dandruff problem. I got a Himalaya Protein Shampoo and Conditioner (2-in-1 product) for Greasy hair and Hair Detangler conditioner at a post-Xmas Xmas party recently. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and I can safely say, my itchy scalp has found its cure. Granted I still do get flakes but they’re nothing like what I used to get. I can safely say that my condition has improved by 98%. I think Himalaya carries an anti-dandruff shampoo so maybe that one can completely cure it. But I’m happy with the results that I’ have right now. The shampoo and conditioner make my hair softer and less frizzy. But I’m not worried about the frizz now that I have my trusty curl controlling creme and serum (the serum I got from the same party).

I was so impressed with the shampoo that I recently bought Himalaya Herbals Purifying Neem Face Wash. I hope that the facial cleanser will help my acne-prone skin. It’s only been two days and it’s quite early to tell. What I can say is that my face doesn’t feel tight after washing. In fact, my skin feels supple and moisturised after washing. As it’s soap-free, it doesn’t sting my eyes and makes it okay for cleaning my eye makeup.

Watch this space for updates on how the cleanser is improving my skin (or not)!

dinner, fashion, magazine, makeup, party

Curly Sue

I seriously have no idea on what to write. But I hate the idea of having “And 10,9,8….” as my most recent post.

So, I guess I’ll talk about the D&D. A lot of people wanted to know how my D&D went and whether I pulled off my rockabilly look. Well, let’s just say that things didn’t really go according to my plans.

First, I didn’t have a flat iron to curl my hair with, nor did I have a round brush. So my husband had to twist my curls with his fingers and set them with hairspray. The end product were curls that weren’t much different from my daily look.

But it didn’t really matter that I couldn’t recreate the 1940s bombshell look that I wanted. After seeing a picture of Kate Perry in a magazine donning a very cute Alice band, I decided that it was a more achievable look. So for all of you who didn’t know, I went to the D&D as a pseudo-Kate Perry 😛

As for my makeup, I memorised the youtube video that I saw and did the best that I could. Initially, I thought my makeup was bordering on garish. But, when I went to the ladies later that night, I checked out my reflection on the mirror and decided that I didn’t look too bad (if I do say so myself). In fact, someone said that I look adorable. Mind you, this is someone who doesn’t dish out compliments often. So, if she thought I looked adorable, then I must have 😛

The funny thing is, I didn’t take a single picture using my own camera. I had to take my own picture at home. Sad right?

As far as the lucky draw was concerned, I wasn’t extremely lucky in that department either. I got a pensonic rice cooker — how exciting is that?! But I guess I shouldn’t complain. At least I came back with something. Some people didn’t win anything at all.

But I think my lucky streak is coming back. Last night I went to the british council media night and got a 1g pen drive. Ok, that’s not terribly exciting but everyone could use an extra data storage device right? Today at my kumon assignment, I got two 2g thumbdrives. How cool is that? Plus they served us tempura set in bentos!! I love Japanese food. I couldn’t believe my luck!!!

Besides that, I think my curly hair totally rocked today. The secret? Shampoo + conditioner + Ellips hair vitamin + sunsilk damage repair leave on lotion + no combing = natural “thermal wave/curl”. I swear by Ellips hair vitamin.

I started using it when I was looking for an alternative to my regular conditioner for my trip to HK. My sister-in-law liked it a lot so I decided to try it myself. Bringing it to HK sounded like a good idea because I wouldn’t have to worry about it being confiscated because I had excedeed my 1 litre liquid in my hand luggage quota.

Picture courtesy of starlightfusion.livejournal.com/

It comes in capsules that look like ‘blisters’. The content is greasy but when you apply to damp hair, the greasiness goes away. When your hair dries, it becomes conditioned, not oily or lank. It’s good for my curls especially when I pair it with a leave on conditioner. It makes them very bouncy. Best of all, 1 “blister” capsule is enough to cover my thin, medium length hair.

I think this product has won Cleo’s best product category at least once before. And a lot of people who have tried it liked the result they got. It’s quite cheap too — only RM4.75 for six capsules. But I think it’s more economical to buy it in bottles.

I think I’ll buy the bottle after I finish the six capsules. I think it’s available at Watsons and Apple Green pharmacies.

As much as I love my natural curl, I think I could use a curling iron. I saw a few youtube videos on how to curl your hair and I’m convinced that MTV-type curls can only be achieved with a curling thong. So, that’s going on my Xmas/birthday wish list 🙂

business trips, cool website, cosmetics, exercise, home, husband, makeup, me, office, pictures, US

Guess who’s back in the mack

After spending hours in the office staring at the computer screen and pages for this weekend’s issue, the last thing I need right now is spending another 30 minutes or so staring at the screen writing this blog entry.

I got a shock (a pleasant one) looking at my dashboard. I knew that the layout for the page where I post my entries has changed but I had ZERO idea that the new dashboard has been pimped as well. Now I can tell who had recently linked me from their blogs/websites, how many blogposts I have so far — fyi it’s 542 (incl. this one), how many people read my blog on certain dates and my most popular post, which happens to be my review of Everyday Minerals makeup.

So, mineral makeup fans out there are gonna love this entry because *drum roll* I just got my package all the way from Austin, TX a couple of days ago. Actually, I could have picked it up on the 8th if I had wanted to but I was away in Hanoi. So, as soon as I had some free time on Wednesday, I laced up my walking shoes and speed-walked all the way to the post office (about a 10-minute walk). I swear I was back at my desk in less 20 minutes – the day was threatening to rain, so I HAD to walk fast.

After thoroughly enjoying my free samples kit last year, I decided to make my first purchase from Everyday Minerals website. I chose the personal custom kit (mini) where I get to pick 6 items from the categories below:

* Foundations
* Blushes and Face Colours
* Concealers
* Eye Colors
* Finishing Powders
* Lip Colors

and pay only US$18 (plus US$9 shipping and handling charges). For those living in Malaysia, that translates to around RM88. Not bad, huh?

Anyway, this time around, the products come in purple-lided containers weighing 4 grams each. They are the size of your average lip pots (lipgloss in pots) (see picture below which I lifted off watercoloursky.blogspot.com. Thank you for the picture!)

Everyday Minerals

The colours I picked were:

  • Medium Beige Summer and Sandy Medium for foundation in intensive (intensive refers to the formula and it’s suppose to be the best for oily skin like mine. Other formulas include matte, semi-matte and original glo)
  • Intensive Medium for concealer
  • Weekend Getaway and Apple for blushers
  • Cherry Fizz for lip colour

The morning after I picked up the package, I mixed both foundation and chose Weekend Getaway to complete my makeup. But mixing the foundations — which I thought would produce the perfect match for my skintone. Nope, not exactly, as I found out later. I looked too done up. But I loved my blusher which looked quite natural.

So this morning, I just went with Sandy Medium and what do you know, it’s quite close to my skin. I’m sure Medium Beige Summer isn’t too dark for me. It’ll be suitable for certain days when I need a little tan. I’m sure I’ll have one of those days 😛

I haven’t tried Apple because, frankly, it looks a little dark. Maybe it’s more suitable for night.

If you want to know how EM looks on my skin, just check out my current Facebook profile picture. In that photo, you’ll also notice that I am sporting a new hairdo. So far, I’ve got positive comments from people. I suppose if they have nothing nice to say about my hair, they probably won’t say anything *lol*. But I like my hair. If I had it my way, I would prefer a bob better but this cut is suited for my curly/wavy hair type. At least I don’t have to tie my hair when I run/walk on the treadmill. When I wash my hair, I use less shampoo and it takes less time to dry as well. I don’t need to use pomade to flick the ends of my hair because my natural curl does it for me FOC in my sleep 😛 I wake up and voila… instant swingy, bouncy curls.

Speaking of curls, today a colleague asked me if I had permed my hair? Hahaha. It’s all natural, baby!

I think I look boyish with this cut. Someone in the office says it makes me look younger than I already do. And my husband swears it makes me look taller(?!). Whatever!

I actually love long hair but I think I needed a makeover. Seven years is too long to have the same haircut, don’t you think?

Anyway, I do mean to post pictures from Hanoi soon. I still had long hair then. Right now though, I am too exhausted to even finish this entry and go grab a glass of cold water to drink. I promise, promise to do it before the end of the weekend. The Internet has been really good here in the new house so that’s a motivation to get it out of the way.

Ok, I’m so tired that the speaking voice in my head (which is narrating this entry) is slurring 😛 Night night then!

makeup

Everyday makeup

Some time after raya, I ordered free samples of everyday minerals makeup of their website. I had first read about this Internet-only brand on michelle’s blog. When I checked youtube, at least three makeup enthusiasts had good things to say about the brand. So, I decided to try the product myself.

The only investment I had to make was pay USD5.99 for shipping/handling. After doing the conversion, I realised that it wouldn’t really hurt my purse to order the free samples online. Three weeks later, the package was on my office desk.

everyday minerals1

I received 5 small jars, each the size of 50 sen coins. The height is about a stack of RM1.80 or RM2 twenty cent (Malaysian) coins. They came stacked on top of each other and rolled up in brown paper inside a white average-sized envelope. The lid is brown and on it is written the name of the brand. The bottom of the jar is clear/plastic.

everyday minerals2

everyday minerals3

Btw, I get to pick three shades of foundation, one shade of concealer and one shade of blush for my sample kit.

I actually went to youtube to watch demos on how to apply mineral makeup. Mineral makeup looks and feels just like talcum powder, except that it comes in different hues. I discovered that it is best to apply mineral makeup using a big fluffy brush. You can get your cheap makeup brushes – foundation, concealer, eyeshadow and other brushes – for under RM100 per set from Elianto.

Get a deep lid, something like the lid for your loose powder (from Silkygirl or Maybelline) and tap the back of the jar to release the mineral makeup in small amounts. The jars have sifters so you have to tap the back of the jars with your finger to “release” the makeup.

Once you’ve tapped enough powder onto/into the lid, dip your makeup brush into the lid, tap off excess powder and apply to skin. If its powder concealer you’re applying, the motion you use is tapping or dabbing on the dark areas/blemishes. If it’s foundation that you’re applying, use circular, buffering motion all over your face. You also apply blusher in a circular motion to the apples of your cheeks – try smiling and notice the raised part of your cheeks; those are the apples of your cheeks.

My personal makeup routine is to first moisturise my face and neck with Olay Total Effects in SPF15. Then, I dab my cream Elianto concealer to my undereye circles and other spotty/blemished/dark areas such as under the lips, on the sides of my nostrils. I also apply concealer under/on the arch of my eyebrows and inner eye corner (near the bridge of the nose) to make them stand out. I’m really paranoid about my blemishes so after the cream concealer, I put on mineral concealer using the dabbing/tapping motion.

After I’m done with concealing, I apply my foundation. I mix two shades of foundation – tan and medium beige warm. Everyday minerals lets you choose three shades of foundations of different finishes (matte, semi-matte and intensive). I chose tan in semi-matte, medium beige warm in semi-matte and intensive. Frankly, tan is too dark for me. Medium beige summer is alright but can look light on me especially after I have applied the powder/cream concealer. So, I mix tan and medium beige summer to get a better a match for my skin tone.

After foundation, I apply two shades of blushes on top of each other. My blush colours are from Elianto. One if bronze and the other is pink/lavender. After blush, I put on Elianto’s RM5 eye shimmers on my eye lids and finish it off with a coat or two of mascara. And that’s it!

My routine takes about 10 minutes, I think. Friends have told me that the result looks professional. But I don’t know. I think I tend to have a heavy hand when applying makeup. So, I always make sure I have tissue to dab excess makeup off my face.

One thing I have noticed is that I have fewer acne since using Everyday Minerals. I didn’t really break out even when I was menstruating. Maybe because Everyday Mineral is made of minerals that are gentler on my skin and non-comedogenic. But always check for the ingredients to make sure that you’re not allergic to any of the minerals used. Everyday Mineral’s competitor brand is said to contain an ingredient that makes the skin itch. I won’t mention the name but that brand is available in Malaysia and the price is 2x more expensive.

I can get a basic set of Everyday Mineral makeup for RM150 (including shipping and handling). For that amount of money, I can only get one jar/bottle of foundation for this other brand. So, no prizes for guessing which brand I’m sticking to.

Let me remind you that the makeup I’m using is the sample kit. But, from the generous sample that they have given me, I think it will last me until February.

Now that I’ve been using Everyday Minerals for about two weeks, I can say that the makeup is long-lasting yet easy to wash off with your regular cleanser. It hasn’t caused me to break out (yet). My skin also looks dewy and my makeup look professional. I’m sure using the right brushes and techniques helps to achieve that professional look. I recommend that you search for makeup demos on youtube. I learned a lot from the professional and amateur makeup artistes. Most of them don’t believe in makeup routine that takes ages. So, they have come up with methods that help you get a professional finish and still get to work on time 😛

I also like the product because it’s affordable, even when you’re earning in RM. The product becomes expensive AFTER shipping and handling. The range of colours are wide so there is bound to be one or two colours which suite your skin tone. The website also provide photos of the actual colour of the products so you can have a pretty good guestimate of what will suite you.

All in all, Everyday Minerals is worth checking out.

College girls, cool website, cosmetics, Cute girls, M1d valley, makeup

Pass me the aspirin, honey!

Finally, I gave Michelle’s honey aspirin mask a try.

I used four uncoated aspirins (actual aspirins, not panadol, just as she suggested) from Watson for less than RM3 (for sepapan). But I think I put too much honey. So, instead of having a grainy texture, my mask ended up being slightly watery and VERY sticky 😛 I had to improvise and add another two aspirins. But the damage has been done and I STILL didn’t get the consistency that I wanted. *Sigh* I’m so good at making “mistakes”, aren’t I? (refer to last post)

Well, I’ll do better next time.

But I’m sure I still got some benefit from the mask. Honey is after all good for the skin. Although my honey aspirin mask was less than perfect, I still scrubbed my face with my electric toothbrush (which I also bought two for RM29. Actually it was a buy 1 free 1 offer). I think my skin softened up a bit.

After that, I watched Michelle’s basic makeup tutorial again and was reminded about my free sample of everyday_minerals foundation, concealer and blusher which haven’t arrived. I made the online “purchase” (technically, I only paid for the USD5 postage fees) on Oct 21. Is it realistic to expect the package to arrive in less than a month? Well, it’s gonna be a month in a few more days, so I guess it isn’t (realistic).

Speaking of mineral makeup, I found out recently that i.d_Bareminerals (another mineral makeup brand) is available at selected stores in Malaysia. I can’t remember which store it was – i’m pretty sure it’s not sasa. Could it be shins? – but it’s at Mid_Valley.

The products are kind of pricey, which is to be expected, I guess. But ever since I discovered Elianto, I’m reluctant to go anywhere else and pay twice or three times the price I can get at Elianto. In fact, I already have a debit card-sorta-thing with the store where I can “reload” my card and not pay in cash/credit. I have close to RM40 worth of points in my debit card right now. I already know what to buy next from the store: makeup brushes and a bottle of brush cleanser/cleaner. The four or five brushes which I need would cost me less than RM50 and the brush cleanser/cleaner is about RM18.

Well, I should really go to bed. Today’s Tomorrow’s a brand new working day. I can’t wait for next weekend (remember my overdue lingerie shopping?).

Talk to you soon!